Agia Irini is a small remote picturesque village located 98km southeast of Agios Nikolaos and 11km south of village Ziros. You can reach the village via dirt tracks starting either from Kalo Horio or from Hametoulo (both 7km long). The village is the starting point of the rugged gorge Agia Irini that exits in one secluded cove, opposite the small islet Hamili.
The beach is pebbly and has crystal clean blue water. It is one of the most remote beaches in Crete, due to its distance from the city centres. It is surrounded by steep cliffs and sharp rocks. In order to access the beach, you should either trek in the imposing gorge, or drive in the dirt track starting from the village, or come by boat (from Goudouras or Xerokambos). There are some tamarisk trees on the beach, making this place ideal for isolation. There is also a trail that starts from Agia Irini Gorge and ends in Xerokambos harbor.
The gorge of Agia Irini
The gorge of Agia Irini is actually a set of two parallel canyons that merge shortly before the sea, at the point where the dirt road passes to the beach. Both canyons are very wild, rocky, with steep slopes and high walls. Especially the westernmost of the two branches is quite eerie and dangerous for those who have no experience of hiking in canyons. Hiking in the gorge takes 2-3 hours, depending on your pace. The steep slopes (the gorge starts at 500m altitude near Hametoulo settlement and ends at the sea leve) causes a great stress on the knees.